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Adventure Pass - some things to consider...
Date: March 22, 2000 at 15:16:12
From: Tom Kenney

Here are a few more points to consider when deciding if Fee Demo is a good thing
or not:


1) The process by which the Fee Demo program came into being was almost entirely
non-Democratic...in fact, I'll go so far as to say it was anti-Democratic in
that the subversion of the public comment process, the voting process, the and
legislative review process have been nearly complete. The appropriations rider
that authorizes the program was tacked onto a must-pass budget in a secret,
"behind closed doors" meeting of rogue congresscritters. A public comment period
is currently open, but ends April 6, 2000. This comment period started YEARS
after the initial trial fees were levied. The USFS has been declinig to
prosecute fee 'offenders' in an attempt to stave off any damaging judicial
precedents.

2) The constructors of the program have sought to shift public perception of
National Forests. They do not want the public to view a National Forest as a
functioning ecosystem that gives life to animals and plants far outside the
National Forest boundaries. Rather, they desire the public to view the National
Forests as amusement parks, where 'customer' service is the top priority,
conservation be damned.

3) My favorite 'use' of the National Forest is backpacking. When practiced
responsibly, backpacking has almost no impact whatsoever. Most often I hike
cross-country, avoiding trails and populated campgrounds. I leave less trace of
my passage than do the numerous deer and other large game animals I frequently
see. I usually park at an obscure 'trailhead' with few or no iimprovements; this
often means parking at a turn-out along a state-maintained highway - no
bathrooms, no cute little signs, no picnic tables.

4) Extractive industries are still ripping our precious wilderness to shreds and
being paid to do it! No matter how much you hear anyone trumpet that "recent
falls in timber harvest have caused big dents in the budget" it's all a bunch of
crap. Cows are still destroying my favorite Sierra Nevada meadows for the paltry
cost of $1.85 (approx) per month. The Union Carbide Mine is still digging
tungsten from the walls of Pine Creek Canyon, and I can still hear them blasting
as I try to sleep late miles away in the Humphreys Basin. Just 2 years ago, the
Forest Service tried to hold a 'helicopter sale' of trees south of Lake
Isabella, this because the Kern Plateau area is visibly tapped out (clear cut).

5) If each of the four major military services grounded ONE aircraft for ONE
YEAR, the money saved could easily fund the Forest Service at the appropriate
levels.

6) No matter what anyone tells you, Fee Demo is failing to live up to it's
billing. A visitor center near Mt. St. Helens was nearly closed for the entire
year, and this being the 20th aniversary of the Big Bang. Fee Demo did not
produce enough revenue to keep the place open, but when congresscritters
lambasted the Forest Service for the 'mismanagement' the Super (M. Dombeck) said
he'd "find the money" to keep it open. This is just the biggest, most visible
wound caused by Fee Demo. In my region (Los Angeles) the Angeles NF is only
maintaining high-use campgrounds while small back-woods sites are still
deteriorating. New trails are being built where they don't make sense, and are
being constructed to meed the needs of equestrians and OHV users. Rediculous
signs have sprouted up everywhere, actually spoiling many of the good views the
signs are lauding. The Forest Service had a nice, brand-new fleet of GMC trucks
10 years ago. Why did they recently begin replacing these with the newer, trendy
Dodge trucks when the money would have been better spent overhauling and
maintaining the 'old' fleet? They seem to be scrambling to give the appearance
of improvement while the understructure is still decaying - like a dry-rotted
house with new aluminum siding.


Concerns over fairness and double-taxation aside, Fee Demo is an environmental
time-bomb, and the forces assembled behind it are eating away at the very
concept of "America!"

Tom Kenney
tomk@bearcomp.com
tom@fluxtech.com



Responses: (1) (2)

  •  Re:

    Where did you get all this (good) information)? Is this opinion or fact? Either way thanks!
    Posted by Terry Bradshaw on 04/25/01


  •  Re:

    thanks man that wuz great i wondered about that you know what you are talking bout
    Posted by Asdfg on 02/21/01


    
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